TPM Livewire

An Annoying Sort of Friend

Scott Walker ... the best friend your vagina doesn't want and never asked for.

This is a mystery … we hope:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Monday that he’d be willing to sign a 20-week abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest, adding that women were mostly concerned about those issues “in the initial months” of pregnancy, television station WKOW reported.

“I mean, I think for most people who are concerned about that, it’s in the initial months where they’re most concerned about it,” Walker said of pregnancies caused by rape and incest.

“In this case, again, it’s an unborn life, it’s an unborn child and that’s why we feel strongly about it,” Walker said. “I’m prepared to sign it either way that they send it to us.”

(Garcia)

We are possibly witnessing a spaghetti-meet-wall moment in conservative politics as the various factions of social conservatism dealing with sex and gender undergo what seems a complete meltdown. Mr. Walker is emblematic. The Cowardly Clown decided to come out swinging on this issue, going on conservative radio to explain that using force of law to put things in women’s vaginas was “just a cool thing out there”. And for whatever reason, he wants this fight; he went back to the same radio program to push his case. It was a particularly dishonest sleight, at that, suggesting the law “doesn’t designate which type” of ultrasound, but transvaginal is the standard medical procedure. Additionally, as Steve Benen explained, “no one’s opposed to ultrasounds in general, but plenty of people are opposed to state-mandated, medically unnecessary procedures imposed by right-wing politicians who choose to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship as part of a larger culture war”.

Remember that the purpose of this is to subject women to an unnecessary medical procedure, the standard method involving vaginal penetration by a foreign object, under force of law and with the intention of persuasion.

Yet Mr. Walker is not finished finding ways to molest women for the sake of his own moral satisfaction.

(more…)

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Gohmertology

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, joins House Republicans to speak during a news conference in opposition to the Supreme Court's Defense of Marrriage Act (DOMA) decision on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The note at the outset: This is Louie Gohmert we’re talking about.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday said that former President George W. Bush (R) may have gone about the Iraq invasion differently if he had known he would be succeeded in the White House by President Obama.

“Everybody else wants to ask that question about, ‘Gee, would you have gone into Iraq, you know, knowing what you know now?’ And I think if President Bush had known that he would have a total incompetent follow him — that would not even be able to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq, that would start helping our enemies and just totally put the Middle East in chaos — then he would have to think twice about doing anything if he had known he would have such a total incompetent leader take over after him. That should be the question,” Gohmert said in an interview with radio host John Fredericks, according to an audio clip highlighted by Right Wing Watch.

(MacNeal)

Those who remember the old Doonesbury joke about “future presidents” can try out their best fourth-frame smile; this is what it comes to. Nonetheless, we should recognize that the distinguished gentleman from Texas’ First Congressional District, Mr. Gohmert, is at the very least a team player.

(more…)

Bibi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu salutes an AIPAC policy conference in March, 2012.  (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ouch.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to a potential nuclear deal with Iran, calling it as wrongheaded as the prime minister’s backing of the Iraq War.

“Israel is safer today with the added time we have given and the stoppage of the advances in the nuclear program than they were before we got that agreement, which by the way the prime minister opposed,” Kerry said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. “He was wrong” ....

.... “The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush,” Kerry replied. “We all know what happened with that decision.”

(Thompson)

No, I mean, like, really. Ouch.

____________________

Image note: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu salutes an AIPAC policy conference in March, 2012. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Thompson, Catherine. “Kerry Blasts Netanyahu: He’s ‘Wrong’ On Iran Deal Like He Was On Iraq War”. Talking Points Memo. 25 February 2015.

Farcical

Detail of promotional image from Ark Encounter.

Some fascinating questions should not be so … er … fascinating. To wit: Can one’s equal rights be violated by the proposition that equality is not supremacy?

Catherine Thompson of Talking Points Memo frames the latest iteration of the question:

The saga that is the construction of Ark Encounter, Kentucky’s proposed “creationist theme park,” plowed on Tuesday as the project’s coordinator vowed to sue the state for discrimination.

Ironically, it was the project’s proprietor, Answers in Genesis, refusing to agree to hiring practices that wouldn’t discriminate on the basis of religion that led Kentucky tourism officials to yank about $18 million worth of crucial tax incentives for Ark Encounter in December.

Answers in Genesis said in a statement Tuesday that the decision to reject its application for the tax incentives “violates federal and state law and amounts to unlawful viewpoint discrimination.”

“Our organization spent many months attempting to reason with state officials so that this lawsuit would not be necessary,” Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham said in the statement. “However, the state was so insistent on treating our religious entity as a second-class citizen that we were simply left with no alternative but to proceed to court. This is the latest example of increasing government hostility towards religion in America, and it’s certainly among the most blatant.”

This is a theme conservatives have echoed for years. The general idea is that by some device, the very concept of equality means that some people must be allowed superiority.

(more…)

One of the Few Times We Get to Say ‘Zombie Jesus’

Jesus CHUD?

Each year we hear all manner of stupid blithering about how there is some sort of “War on Christmas”, which as we all know simply translates to a rejection of religious supremacism, but the conservatives can’t acknowledge that because, well, they’re the religious supremacists. Whatever. But, you know, what about when Christmas declares war on America?

A suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio has ordered one resident to remove a
zombie-themed nativity scene from his property, local TV station WLWT reported Tuesday night.

Jasen Dixon, a Sycamore Township man who manages a haunted house in Indiana, built the manger scene with zombie-like figures standing in for Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus and the three wise men.

But town officials following up on two anonymous complaints found that Dixon’s handmade nativity scene violated zoning codes.

(Thompson)

It’s actually almost funny, because it is an expected coincidence of political assertions and outcomes. That is to say, it’s kind of like TRAP laws, only presumably by accident. You know, a small-government conservatism coinciding with an intrustive governmental action using bureaucratic regulations to stop something Christians might object to.

No, seriously, this allegedly isn’t censorship of content, but, rather, a square-footage issue. As well as a procedural irony we can certainly enjoy that virtually renders the issue moot.

Welcome to Middle America.

____________________

Thompson, Catherine. “Ohio Town Orders Man To Take Down Zombie Nativity Scene”. Talking Points Memo Livewire. 24 December 2014.

The Problem With Bob Beckel

Chyron from FOX News, 14 July 2014

FOX News host Bob Beckel, described as the “token liberal” of the program, The Five is, in that context, a curious icon. Much like former Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA) demonstrated in 2004 just how low one must sink in order to satisfy Republicans, perhaps Beckel is a symbol of just how morally bankrupt one must be to satisfy the bosses at FOX News.

We heard last week of Beckel’s sinophobic rant, including an ethnic slur we haven’t heard much of for decades.

Now Bob wants you to know that he’s sorry if you were offended by what he said, but he’s not sorry for saying it:

During his apology, Beckel was nonspecific about what exactly he was apologizing for.

FOX News logo“I made some comments last week about Chinese people which apparently upset some people for which I apologize,” he said.

But he made it very clear his apology stopped there.

“I do not apologize for the things I said about China, and I won’t go into the litany of it now, because there are too many China apologists in this country,” he said. “But I will continue to warn the American people about how dangerous China is to the U.S. security and to our business community.

“But to those who were offended, I do apologize. I do not apologize to the Chinese government, or for the habits, or for the murders or anything else.”

(LaFond)

We must also remember, however, that Beckel is the sort of “token liberal” whose job is to play the fool. Like the time in 2013, when he wondered, “When’s the last time you heard about rape on a college campus?”

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